'Off the Hook': OU Game Hype Heats Up

No game can stain a Longhorn season deeper, and make those perpetually envious Okies more insufferable, than a Sooner scalping in the Red River Shootout. Mack Brown's hide was in serious jeopardy because of those four straight losses before Vince Young bailed him out big-time last year. It's also worth remembering that Texas' last pre-Ohio State loss was hung on them by the crimson and cream in 2004's 12-0 shutout. It's true: Post-Vince, it's right back to anyone's ballgame, but still one Texas can, and probably should, win. "It's not about who's the best team, it's about who plays best on Saturday" Mack Brown said at his press conference Monday, encouraging words five days before freaking OU weekend.

If Texas' defense can keep Sooner stud Adrian Peterson firing blanks by limiting him to respectable yardage – i.e. hitting him at or before the line of scrimmage – QB Paul Thompson probably won't be able to beat them through the air. Even that's not a 100% certainty after Texas' d-backs got torched against Ohio State, but they did show they can stop the run against the Buckeyes and have ever since; they haven't played a tremendous talent like Peterson, true, but only Michigan has allowed fewer rushing yards.

Most likely it's also going to take more than Colt McCoy can do for Texas to come away with two in a row (where's Peter Gardere when you need him?), meaning either Selvin Young or Jamaal Charles, and preferably both, need to run over the Sooner defense like Norman co-eds on a liquor run to Gainesville. The more McCoy can find Limas Sweed (aka Roy Williams Reincarnated) the better, though Quan Cosby has shown flashes of the same playmaking skills and Jermichael Finley is a sleeper.

A special-teams touchdown/big play wouldn't hurt, and luckily the Longhorns can block a punt, or return one for a touchdown, better than just about anyone. In short, the Red River Rivalry's 101st meeting is shaping up to be a hard-fought, smash-mouth, smack-spewing, dick-in-the-dirt sort of football game, and fans on either side expect nothing less. But still, 24-21 Texas, and hook 'em Horns.

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Colt Mccoy, Adrian Peterson, Limas Sweed, Vince Young, Mack Brown

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